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Our Five Fave Mama and Baby Yoga Poses

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Yoga is the perfect opportunity for mums and babies to spend quality time together. Here are our five favourite poses for you to get back into the swing of things at your own pace.

Mama and baby yoga can be one of the most relaxing ways to get connected to reading your baby’s cues, aiding in their growth and creating time for yourself to recover too. Here are five poses that you can do at home with your bub after a shower in just a diaper or before nap time. Baby yoga is based on combining massage techniques and post-natal yoga poses for both and can be practiced from 8 weeks old. Consider putting a baby blanket down too, in case of accidents! And if you’re keen to do more, be sure to come to our free Mama & Baby Yoga Class at Kate Porter Yoga next week!

Looking at your baby, imagine an imaginary umbilical cord connecting from your heart to your baby’s. Just because they’re born now, doesn’t mean they aren’t still connected to you. Start your baby yoga time with a few deep breaths and sit with baby laying down in front of you on your mat. If your baby prefers to be prone, let them lay prone. Rub your hands together to make them warm and with an inhale place your hands on the top of baby’s head. Exhale and gently stroke from the top of the head down to the toes. Repeat this three times (or more if baby likes it) as an alert to their nervous system that it’s time for baby yoga.

milla11. Two Part Hip Sequence
This following sequence of three poses is a great one to help babies with digestion and wind. We hold a lot of crap – literally and emotionally – and while as adults we can move it out ourselves, babies need a little help, especially if they’re only on their backs all the time.

Knees to Chest

  • Start by holding baby’s ankles
  • Take a breath in to prepare
  • Exhale and bring baby’s knees to their chest
  • Inhale and bring baby’s legs straight again
  • Exhale to release baby’s legs
    Repeat three to five times

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Side to Side

  • Start by holding baby’s ankles
  • Take a breath in to prepare
  • Exhale and bring baby’s knees to chest
  • Inhale and bring baby’s knees to the left
  • Exhale and bring baby’s knees to the right
  • Inhale to centre
  • Exhale to release
  • Repeat three to five times

 

 

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2. Cross Body Play
Moves, massages and play that use opposite hemispheres of baby’s body stimulates their brain. They begin to learn where their left, right, top and bottom limbs are in relation to space.

  • Begin by holding baby’s right forearm and left ankle/low calf
  • Bring baby’s right hand and left foot to touch and open them up again, like a big stretch
  • Read your baby’s cues as their bodies and faces will let you know if it’s too much.
    Use the following rhyme as a guide and rhythm for the exercise:
    Open, shut them, open, shut them 
    Don’t get in a pickle 
    Open, shut them, open, shut them, 
    Give yourself a tickle

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3. TightRope Walking/Active Walks
Always consult your doctor first to confirm when it’s okay to get active again. You can always do these ones at home and when you’re feeling a little stronger, adding on to help you recover and get strong again in your pelvic floor and abdomen.

  • Stand with your baby in comfortable hold. If you’re facing a mirror, you can look and call at baby.
  • Keep the eyes looking forward
  • Shoulders relaxed
  • Inhale and pick up your left foot
  • Exhale and step it in front of your right toes like a tightrope walker
  • At the end of your breath, tuck your pelvis in and engage your abdomen

Adding on when you’re feeling stronger:

  • Step your left foot forward
  • Inhale, pick up your right knee and cross it in front of your body
  • Tuck in your pelvis as you lift and squeeze your bottom together as you release the foot down
  • Switch sides. Walk the length of your mat and relax or repeat!

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4. Rolling babies
Rolling baby down the legs is a great first way to stimulate your baby’s vestibular system. It gets them ready to then push up and eventually to kick and crawl!

  • Start by sitting with your legs stretched out straight. If you need to, place a rolled up towel under your pelvis so your legs aren’t strained.
  • Place a pillow to the side of your legs for baby’s head.
  • Lay baby prone across your thighs. If they can’t hold their head up yet, place their entire upper body on your thigh.
  • Put your thumbs under baby’s armpit and one under baby’s hip and palms flat across baby’s back.
  • Inhale to prepare
  • Exhale and roll baby over once
  • If your baby isn’t holding their head up yet, just roll over once and continue holding them
  • If your baby is able to hold their head up, you can roll them down your legs as you get into a forward fold

Here’s a rhyme for you and baby:
I roll my baby down my legs just like this, 
I roll my baby up again and give him/her a little kiss 

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5. Cradle and Sway to Relaxation
This is a great one for winding down the yoga time with baby and prepares them for relaxation, feeding or maybe even a nap. Start by putting on your favourite quiet time music or just enjoy the silence.

  • Take a wide legged stance
  • Use an open cradle or closed cradle hold with baby
  • Start to bend your knees and sway side to side, dipping down a little in the centre
  • You can add in bumble bee hums here three times
  • Slow down your sways and dips
  • When you’re finished with the sequence, use pillows and blankets to get comfy

If you’re feeding, sit with your back against the wall and place pillows or bolsters under your elbows to support your feed so you can also relax. If you’re lying down, lie on your back or on your side with a blanket to stay warm and have baby beside you or on your chest.

Most of all enjoy the quiet time, the bonding, and the warmth between you and baby.

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All photos in the article above were taken by the talented Beatrice Lee. Get in touch with her at www.beatricelee.com and check out her pics on Instagram. Special thanks to Sassy Mama Milla and baby Gemma for being amazing models!

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